the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, November 14, 2011

NFL Week Ten: Records, Surprises & Grooves

Around the NFL yesterday...

In Seattle, Steven Hauschka joined Norm Johnson, Olindo Mare and Todd Peterson in the Seahawks' record book by kicking five field goals in a game. He connected from 22, 38, 39, 35 & 30 yards during the 22-17 victory over Baltimore.
“I guess it’s a fun day for a kicker to be part of the game like that. It would have been nice to get a couple scores on offense … we did a great job today as a team....
I think I’ve done a good job. You notice a lot of kickers come in here, there’s been missed kicks. There also haven’t been many touchbacks. It’s a tough place to kick I think. It’s a lot easier to kick inside or in warm weather. We don’t really get above 60 degrees here much for home games, so those touchbacks are hard to get.”
On the other side of the field for the Ravens, Billy Cundiff made a 35 yarder, but didn't fair as well from long range - coming up short on a 50 yard attempt and wide on a 52 yarder. Changing winds were a factor:
“In pregame, going both ways, we backed up to the 58, and I was really happy there. I hit the ball extremely well in pregame, and then when we came out there, the wind kind of shifted and it was in our face. The 50-yard field goal, which I thought would’ve been very easy, I thought I hit the ball extremely well, and I played it right down the line that I wanted, and the wind caught it and threw it down. You can look at the ball flight and tell whether you guided it or not by how fast the ball spun, but for the ball to work right to left, that tells me that I didn’t spin it. So I actually got after it and hit it well. Kind of frustrating to think that ball was missed.”
In San Francisco, David Akers continued to pile up field goals, adding four more to his season total. He also had a notable kickoff during the 49ers 27-20 win over the Giants. His surprise onside kickoff during the second quarter was successfully recovered by one of his team mates.
"It's more of a calculated risk. You don't try it on everybody. You don't try to come back and sting somebody twice with it, either. It's one of those things, if you can get it at a time when you're really not thinking this is going to be an onside kick."
In Dallas, Dan Bailey also continued to pile up field goals - adding three more to his ongoing streak. He also resumed handling kickoffs since David Buehler was placed on IR earlier in the week.
"I felt like I was in a pretty good groove. It helps being here because this is a great place to kick the ball. It carries really well here. I know I can do it. I just have to get in that groove and find the sweet spot on the ball and find a good approach. I can still improve but I thought it was definitely improvement from previous games with the kickoffs....
I might have miss-hit [the short one]. I was trying a little too much with direction. I should have just stuck with my groove. I shouldn't have changed it up, live and learn on that one."

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